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#6498321 - 10/16/16 08:28 PM Sunflower Field Size
Full•Throttle Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 57
Loc: North Texas
I have 157 acres in Woodson, Texas. Right now it is primarily just mesquite pasture, but some of it is very thin and could easily be converted to sunflower fields. My question is how many acres do you need in order for it to be effective? I have 3 different spots that are about 2.5 acres each in size I was thinking about converting over to sunflowers in Janurary. All 3 spots are only about 500-750 yards away from each other and would have a 5 acre pond and 2 acre wetland that would be located right in the middle of all three fields. My only concern would be to put the effort into building these sunflower fields if they are not large enough to hold/attract a good amount of birds, even though it is in a very good dove area historically. Thoughts?


Edited by Full•Throttle (10/16/16 08:34 PM)

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#6498465 - 10/16/16 09:34 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
bobcat1 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 07/22/07
Posts: 1470
Loc: Sanger, Texas
I think if you build it they will come. Secret is to me to have habitat which means food, water and roost.
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#6498493 - 10/16/16 09:48 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
Huntmaster Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 1193
And then there's what variety to plant, native or otherwise. I planted some one time and the deer ate it.

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#6498598 - 10/16/16 11:49 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11716
Loc: Big D
10 to 20 acres is the minimum normally you want to plant to be able to hunt. Our neighbor did a 10 acre plot and it held birds pretty good but he never hunted it. We did though.

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#6498664 - 10/17/16 06:28 AM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
BigAL33 Offline


Registered: 07/24/09
Posts: 1520
Loc: Sugar Land, TX
Nothing better than sitting next to a sunflower field day on opening day!
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#6498851 - 10/17/16 09:23 AM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
texas wetlands Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 01/08/13
Posts: 238
10 acres Min but that depends on how many folks your planning on hunting it. Bigger the better.

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#6498881 - 10/17/16 09:33 AM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
Stompy Online   content
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 3863
Loc: Breckenridge Tx
I'd agree with a minimum of 10 acres. That's only good for about 4-5 hunters though. Also with a field that size you're going to push them out pretty fast with 4-5 hunters. If you want a field to hold birds you need to have enough area for the birds to land and feed without being shot at. Once you push them out they just go to a field with none or less pressure.


Edited by Stompy (10/17/16 09:36 AM)
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#6499043 - 10/17/16 11:14 AM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Stompy]
kweber Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/03/15
Posts: 196
first, how well can you clear it?
doves , especially mourning dove dont like to land in thick stuff...
second, Mdoves really prefer smaller stuff than domestic sunflowers that the bigger whitewings thrive on....
maybe consider the shatter-type sesame, and plant in stages so it matures at staggered intravals...
third.. maybe not Ablene/W/Falls area, but down here W/of SA and newly cleared land has teaweed(croton, whatever you call it) come out first on newly cleared land... and dove love it, but it usually dosnt fully mature till late Oct(however, the seeds shed from the bottom of the plant while adding newer ones on top...
also, milo is a good attractant, but chicken-feed grade milo is hybrid, and doesn't produce much seed...
my ideal dove field would be a mix of native sunflowers, teaweed, a little milo and lots of bare ground underneath...
mourning dove feed on the ground and feel safer when there's no weedy understory to hide predators like cats and snakes...
I shred strips about 50' wide very low to give them an open area to feed...
and shed several time to open up more ground as seed matures and the season progesses
having water nearby is a huge plus, but keep in mind that they want an open area next to water, like a low-level tank...
they don't like weeds right next to waters edge.. predators...
hope some of this helps....

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#6500900 - 10/18/16 12:59 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
Full•Throttle Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 57
Loc: North Texas
Great info... thanks. I plan to totally clear the sunflower areas, disc and plant. Sounds like I need to go bigger. Just want to save enough area of the property to deer hunt on as well. Or clear the whole place to dove and duck hunt and get a deer lease near by, which is not out of the question either.


Edited by Full•Throttle (10/18/16 01:00 PM)

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#6501029 - 10/18/16 02:15 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
sallysue Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 2548
Loc: Belton Tx
I do a 5 acre spot and it does fine

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#6501083 - 10/18/16 02:50 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: sallysue]
Full•Throttle Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 57
Loc: North Texas
Originally Posted By: sallysue
I do a 5 acre spot and it does fine


How often and how many people would you say it takes for it to be over hunted?

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#6501089 - 10/18/16 02:53 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
sallysue Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/21/06
Posts: 2548
Loc: Belton Tx
I hunt 2 or maybe 3 times a week I plant the some hybrid sunflowers to. Just the wife and I


Edited by sallysue (10/18/16 03:36 PM)

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#6503037 - 10/19/16 06:27 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Txduckman]
udamdan Offline
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 5939
Loc: Dallas & Young Counties
Originally Posted By: Txduckman
10 to 20 acres is the minimum normally you want to plant to be able to hunt. Our neighbor did a 10 acre plot and it held birds pretty good but he never hunted it. We did though.


You don't need to plant sunflowers , just plow in late Feb early March as native sunflowers remain dormant for years/ decades under ground and then clear your field & disc plow 1,5,10,15 100 acres what ever you want for your dove hunting pleasure !

Have you ever noticed that when construction starts somewhere in the city, where bulldozers, backhoes have moved dirt, sunflowers suddenly pop up ? I rest my case ..............Mic Dropped banana2
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#6503246 - 10/19/16 08:22 PM Re: Sunflower Field Size [Re: Full•Throttle]
Txduckman Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 11716
Loc: Big D
That can work too but you might not get as good coverage than if you planted a smaller plot. Try it and if you don't like, plant the next year. Then you can just plow depending on the variety you planted plus the natives. Our neighbor did the hybrids and they looked beautiful. But that would be expensive in a large field so plowing like Dan said works fine.

My buddy is just south of you by Breckenridge and he has to plant each year, he gets more weeds and grass than flowers if he just plows. Some places it is all sunflowers.

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